Buying a mattress based on email marketing
The world of DTC mattresses has exploded over the last few years. Numerous new players have entered the space by piggybacking on Casper’s success, which is now leading to a controversial IPO. This fall, I found myself in the market for a new mattress. And given what Scalero is focused on, evaluating DTC mattress companies on their email marketing programs is only natural.
I wanted to make a decision on Black Friday, so I signed up for their emails in early November. After weeks of emails, I evaluated each of these companies (1-5 scale) on the following email marketing criteria:
- Frequency (too much, too little, or just right?)
- Quality of emails (do they use HTML, photo blocks, text-only?)
- Content of emails (is it intriguing, boring, too sales-y?)
- How well quality was conveyed (after all, I do plan to sleep on this for the next 8-10 years)
- Black Friday deal
The “need improvement” emails
I was surprised to see that Tuft&Needle, a very well-known brand, did not send me any emails. It could be having deliverability issues, but it seems like a major mistake to not send a new subscriber any emails around Black Friday. Aviya had the same issue; something about these brands’ email marketing is broken.
The worst performing companies using my subjective scale were Allswell, Winkbeds, and Casper. Allswell did not convey much in their emails, while Winkbeds just sent some basic emails. Casper appearing so low is probably the biggest surprise.
As the leader in the mattress space, I had high expectations for Casper and its email marketing. I know Casper tests a lot of different email strategies. As someone who is typically an advocate for pushing more emails, I didn’t think the content of Casper’s emails was diverse enough to justify the high frequency. I received 2-3 emails per day for weeks. The marketing is strong, no doubt, but these emails were mostly sales-focused and repetitive. And it had a not-so-attractive Black Friday offer of 10%, much lower than most of its competitors.
The best emails
My top 3 were Saatva, Purple, and Leesa. I think Purple and Leesa are relatively well-known, having put a decent amount of money into advertising over the last few years. Saatva, however, was unknown to me before this exercise. Saatva was clearly less focused on marketing than the other two but did a great job conveying clean emails that showed high-quality products. I was drawn in from the start on its’ branding. And when Black Friday came around and Saatva posted they don’t do Black Friday because they keep pricing low year-round, I was hooked. I knew this was a brand all about quality and it instantly became my top choice.
One month after purchasing, I am a happy Saatva customer. The simple, clean emails won me over, and the mattress is the best I’ve ever slept on. Saatva could use a little help on frequency and personalization, and that combined with the branding and quality could make it a major leader in this space in the future.
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